TWO Marines who were ‘full to the brim of life and joy’ have been remembered during a special service at a village church.
The names of Burton locals Neil Dunstan and Luke Taylor, who were killed in Afghanistan, have been engraved on a new memorial tablet.
The Reverend Malcolm Surman, who led the dedication on Sunday at St Luke’s Church, said so many attended that some were forced to stand outside the building.
“Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people who attended,” he said.
“It was an opportunity for us to give thanks for the exemplary lives both men led as soldiers, but also as good and kind members of the community.”
Neil was one of two people who died when their Jackal armoured truck was hit by an explosive device while on patrol in southern Afghanistan in 2009.
Luke, a sergeant in the elite Royal Marines, died after being shot by an Afghan soldier at the main base in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province.
The 33-year-old was one of two servicemen killed in the attack in March 2012.
A bench dedicated to his memory sits on the village green.
The Rev Surman said: “We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day, and it felt like an Easter morning.
“That feeling was something I tried to sum up with the tenor of the sermon. We thought about the vitality and life of Luke and Neil, who sacrificed their lives. They were both so enthusiastic and joyful about the gift of life.”
He said the tablet will ensure that the Marines are ‘remembered forever’.
“Their names will be there for as long as the church stands,” he said.
“We hope this will honour their memories through the ages.”